I was reading model answers on CAE writing part and in one of the essays found out a grammar structure I misunderstand:

In my opinion, whilst any facility would be a positive improvement, I have distinct reservations about the addition of a history museum to the town. To begin with, I think that museums are rather dry, boring places and a new museum would be my last choice as a solution to liven up the town. Moreover, a history museum would have a very limited appeal and only be of interest to history buffs and would be unlikely to appeal to the town's younger generation.

In bold, why should we use here this grammar structure, but not "live up"?

  • What question are you asking, exactly? Do you have a problem with 'liven up'? Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 8:46
  • I think you mean that you don't understand it. Misunderstand means to understand something in the wrong way. To liven up the town is to make it more lively. We can't use live up in this sense. Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 9:27
  • Perhaps you are thinking of the phrase live it up, which is rather different to the use of liven up here. The first is intransitive, the second is transitive. Another similar phrase is live up to but is further off-target, meaning to meet someone's expectations. Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 9:43
  • I mean, why should we use "liveN up", but not "live up"? Could you give a reference to the grammar rule? Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 15:49
  • Oh, I understood: "liven" is a base verb! Thanks for your support! Just confused this word with "lived"... :-) Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 17:22


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